The first time I heard Caroline Spence's single 'Sit Here And Love Me', was in a plane - somewhere in between Amsterdam and Glasgow. When Ryan Joseph Burns picked me up from the airport, I just had to play it for him in his car. Five times in a row. I had heard her music before, but this was the first time I really connected with it and registered it was Spence. Ever since, her albums have been on high rotation. At Take Root festival in Groningen, late 2019, we met and recorded this session. Caroline Spence and her guitarist Charlie Whitten played covers of Sheryl Crow and Lucinda Williams, and her own 'The Long Haul'.
Caleb Elliott and I spoke about staying hungry for music, discovering fairly late there’s more than just classical music and the important people in his development; his high school orchestra conductor, his cello professor at the liberal arts college and his mother who, after his dad passed, got a degree, raised four children and started a women’s shelter by herself. I know, what have we been doing with our lives, right? What her youngest son has been doing, is focus on his songwriting rather than being the cellist, with his 2019 Single Lock records debut album ‘Forever To Fade’ as the first stunning output. Shortly after its release, we met at the Down by the River festival in Venlo, The Netherlands. Elliott, who was touring with Nicole Atkins at the time, recorded covers of Neil Young and Johnny Cash and one beautiful original from his debut on this session.
Back when traveling and going to shows were still things people did, I met up with Kentuckian artist Senora May in Utrecht. Her self-released debut ‘Lainhart’ has been a very nice surprise and so was recording this session where she covered Rilo Kiley and Beyoncé. Seeing her perform live in Utrecht, on a double bill with Erin Rae, it was actually like an extra layer was added to her songs. Her stage presence, the stories and her expression made the songs come to life – possibly more than the record had done for me previously - as much as I liked it. “That’s my goal: I want to have a connection with the audience and I want them to feel a personal connection. I want to express what I feel and when I do that in shows, people are more open.”
'When We Last Shook Hands: Cover Songs Volume 1' is a collection of cover songs that Great Lake Swimmers has recorded over a period of roughly 12 years, between 2007 – 2019. Most of the songs have been released in one form or another as part of compilations, live sessions, outtakes, or album bonus tracks, but there are also a handful of tracks which are seeing the light of day here for the first time. It will be digitally released on June 5th 2020, exclusively on Bandcamp.
Sofie Winterson and I only film in musea it seems. Last year we had the honor of filming at Panorama Mesdag in The Hague - find her Unknown Mortal Orchestra cover on the website - and early 2020 we gave it another go at the Eye Film museum in Amsterdam. She had just decided to spend most of her time in Los Angeles for the forseeable future, so I figured I had to capture some more songs while I could. This time, Winterson recorded a lovely cover of Judee Sill's 'The Kiss' and an acoustic of her own killer song 'Moral'.
The summer of 2018 would soon be coming to an end, and Rachel and I had just seen two of our favourite bands – Hiss Golden Messenger and Courtney Marie Andrews - play a double bill in Ghent, Belgium, when I started talking with Andrews’ bass player. Somehow, Ole Kirkeng knew The Influences already and soon we’re talking about sessions, Buck Meek and other musicians we both like. The Norwegian songwriter lived in the United States for about six years, but soon after our meeting in Belgium moved back to Oslo just before coming to Utrecht to record this session in the exact same spot as Buck Meek a year earlier.